You may have read my recent re-count of my trip to Paris, where I attended art school for two weeks. Travel opens us to new cultures, immerses us in new experiences and expands our minds and souls to new ways of being.
When traveling, we assess our lives. We finally have the time and space and perspective to be out of the bubble we live in. We are also given the opportunity to pop it if no longer works for us.
Ah-ha realizations that scream at us on the streets of a foreign city would never whisper to us in the familiar walls of our home. We have business ideas abroad that seem way too out of reach in our day-to-day offices.
While traveling, we get smacked by truth in the most unlikely of places, in the most unexpected of times and in the most unsettling of ways. Enter, the existential crisis!
The space away, makes for space within.
And that can fuck us up a little. But it’s beautiful. And necessary.
When we travel, we are OPEN because we have to be. As a foreigner, we are vulnerable. We don’t know all the cultures and customs of where we are, so we must be flexible. We have to ask questions and lean on strangers more than we’re used to. We risk being perceived as stupid or ignorant or worse…American.
When I came home to beautiful Boulder, I was so grateful to be back in my life. But I felt a little shell-shocked. European life is much simpler than American life. I noticed my home and business were more complicated than it needed to be.
I was a little fucked up about it, to be honest.
Over the past 3 weeks since being home, I’ve had some bouts of crying. I’ve doubted myself. I’ve thrashed a bit. I wallowed for what wasn’t. I’ve re-assessed all areas of my life – my home, my work, my dating life. All of it.
Then at certain action points, I found my resolve. I pushed back against my self-created status quo. I said “no” to some opportunities and people that previously I said “yes” to. Why? Because I became enamored with the idea of simplicity while in Europe, and was confronted by the fact I tend to make things anything but simple. I’m a product of American culture where success is largely determined with a bigger-better-faster-more ideology.
My soul is simply no longer on board with that.
It took getting a little fucked up after traveling to come to that place of truth. It is uncomfortable. I have disappointed people. But I’m feeling lighter. More like ME. Feeling a little fucked up was a flashlight to show me what isn’t working in my life anymore, and I’m grateful for it.
What if feeling a little fucked up isn’t something to avoid, but instead something to SEEK?
Travel isn’t the only way to attain this state. You can get a little fucked up on your spiritual journey. Or your creative path as you make something. Or simply the wild trip of the aging process. (mid-life crisis anyone?)
We simply need to be in an emotional place where change is possible, or change is inevitable. The magic happens when we’re forced to dream up a new version of ourselves.
Finding yourself feeling a little fucked up, and not immediately jumping to “fix” it, is courageous and brave. I believe it’s critical to our evolution. Sometimes we need to be willing to go a little dark, before letting the light back in.
Sometimes people hire me when they are feeling a little fucked up. Maybe they have a high-stakes opportunity to speak their truth. Others are going through life transitions and are curious what’s next. My office is a top-secret, no-judgment zone and people feel that.
Perhaps I’ve been attracting people who are at those points in life because I see it as a sacred time. I have a deep admiration for those who are willing to investigate the fucked-up-ness instead of going with the flow of what’s expected.
After returning from Paris, I went back to work. I had missed my work so much! (seriously, I love my job) During the first call I had, it was with a client. And she kicked it off with this question:
“Weed, what happened to you?”
I was grateful for the honesty. She was one of the people I disappointed by pressing pause on a business venture. She asked this question with love, and was genuinely curious what shift took place in me.
I told her I wanted to simplify my life.
BAM! It just came out. Truth is always clear, and the sentences are usually short. As much as I love words, I’ve also witnessed how much they can cloud a person’s truth.
She got it. So many of us crave simplicity. If you are one of those people, the big-ness of American life can be overwhelming and even paralyzing at times. The amount of stuff we have, the amount of meetings we pack into a day, the amount of people we’re “connected” to, the amount of ambition we ask ourselves to have…
I’ll talk more about life simplification in future posts, but for now, I’d just like to challenge the notion that being a little fucked up is a negative thing. Instead, it could be the precipice to our personal freedom.
If having massive life realizations that later inspire positive change and growth in my life, first require me to be a little fucked up for awhile – then so be it. Feeling this way can be a compass for truth, and a scale for the weight of bullshit in your life that’s holding you down.
However, on the other side of being a little fucked up, there needs to be action. Otherwise we turn into powerless victims. Allow yourself to be in the fucked-up-ery, but give it an expiration date. Then go do something about it.
Be brave. Tell the truth. Awesomeness will ensue.
Feeling a little fucked up once in awhile can set you free.